Elon Musk, it seems, prioritises building spaceships over maintaining relationships. In September, the thrice-divorced billionaire told reporters that his work at SpaceX and Tesla was a big reason why he had split from Grimes, his musician girlfriend. In her latest single, Player of Games, Grimes appears to have confirmed this. “I’m in love with the greatest gamer,” she sings, “but he’ll always love the game more than he loves me … Sail away to the cold expanse of space, even love couldn’t keep you in your place.”
The lyrics have prompted headlines about her “shading” Musk with a “spicy dig”, but I reckon the guy got off lightly. She could have been far ruder, particularly considering Musk’s record with dishing out insults.
It wouldn’t have been the classiest of moves, but I’m sure Musk would have been the first person to argue that nobody could possibly take an insult literally.
She could have echoed Musk’s recent comments to Bernie Sanders and written something like: “I keep forgetting you’re still alive.” She could have mentioned his bizarre new haircut: the billionaire looks as if he got a child-sized toupee from the pound shop and glued it to his head. She could have made a dig about the size of his rockets. She could have pulled a Justin Bieber and sung: “My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone.”
I’m not auditioning to be Grimes’s assistant songwriter here. I’m just saying that everyone knows that if you date a musician you run a risk of finding yourself unflatteringly immortalised. Musk, by comparison, has been treated generously. No doubt he’s playing the song on repeat.
Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist